Jiang Ning scored a hat-trick as hosts China beat the Maldives 4-0 in their 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifying match at the Wuhan Sports Center Stadium on Thursday.
China took control of proceedings and opened the scoring as early as the third minute as the striker jumped high and headed just under the bar.
The Chinese duly doubled their lead 10 minutes later as Zhao Mingjian’s lofted cross on the by-line following a tight one-two movement found Yang Xu who headed into the open net.
China could have led 3-0 before the break but Gao Lin’s goal was disallowed for offside after he rebounded Maldives keeper Mohamed Imran’s kick-in from the inside the box.
However, the third goal finally arrived in the second half as Jiang Ning, who was free inside the area, doubled his scoring after his side-foot volley found the Maldivians’ net on 84 minutes.....